I’ve been a bad artist.
My show came down at the beginning of May, but I am just posting this show report now. I’ve been procrastinating despite it perhaps being my greatest achievement. Because in order to tell the story of this exhibition, I have to talk about what it was like to prepare for it.
Four weeks before the show was set to open, right around the time I should be kicking off preparations – my grandfather died. I flew to Taiwan two days after receiving the news, and stayed for a week to attend his funeral and see family. I did this, knowing full well that I was shooting myself in the foot as far as show prep was concerned. It was a bittersweet trip that I will remember for the rest of my life.
While still grieving and working freelance gigs, I tried to hit the ground running as soon as I got back. It was exhausting, but well worth it for the opening. I even threw together a surprise performance piece by having my friends show up dressed like me in my pictures, to create the atmosphere of being in one of my photographs.
Looking across the room and seeing a sea of black suits at the opening, I never felt so loved. It felt like my world had imploded. People from all corners of my life: family, friends, coworkers, former lovers, acquaintances and strangers all came together to see my work the way it was meant to be seen.
It felt like I had taken a shot in the dark almost a decade ago, only to find out now that I had actually hit something. Nine years! Nine years of struggle and self doubt. Of blowing money I didn’t have on film, storing said film in my freezer because I didn’t have enough money to develop it. Defending my work from friends, strangers, and loved ones for myself as the subject. It all added up to this. It was the proudest night of my life and I just didn’t want it to end.
A big, big thank you to the Pearl River Mart family for believing in this work. This was nothing short of a dream come true, to be able to exhibit in your store and be a part of the Pearl River Mart story. Also a heartfelt thank you to Yen Lo, who inspired me to continue this series and helped me shoot most of this work.
This chapter was for you Chloe!!!
See some install shots from the show below!
Also, if anyone can read Chinese…I’d love to know what this article says about the show!